Wholesome Tummies Hosts Free Screening of School Lunch Documentary

Written by Scott Joseph on .

The issue of what kids eat has been front and center ever since Michelle Obama made childhood obesity her cause. What they eat during school lunches is worthy of review.

Wholesome Tummies, a local company founded to promote healthful lunches, will host a screening of the documentary “Lunch Line” tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 23, at the Orlando Public Library. The film tracks the behind-the-scenes details of school lunch and childhood hunger from key moments in history.

A panel discussion will follow the screening. Panel participants include Sara Brady, CEO/President of Sara Brady Public Relations, Inc.; Samantha Gotlib, Co-founder of Wholesome Tummies; Linda Daniels, Food Service Director of Seminole County Public Schools; Jennifer Dolcater-Ketchersid of Florida Hospital for Children and the Healthy 100 Kids program; and Dr. Lloyd Werk, Chief of the Division of Consultative Pediatrics at Nemours Children's Hospital.

Wholesome Tummies samples will be served following the screening.

The screening is free. The film and discussion will be from 10 a.m. to noon at Orange County Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, in the third floor Albertson Room. Parking is available in the garage across the street for $2 per hour.

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Beard Nominees include Four Area Chefs

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Four area chefs are on the initial ballot for this year’s James Beard Award for Best Chef in the South Region. In a move I have not seen before, James and Julie Petrakis, co-chefs and co-owners of The Ravenous Pig, have been nominated jointly. James Petrakis is also currently a finalist in Food & Wine magazine’s poll for Best New Chef in the Gulf Coast region.

Scott Hunnel, executive chef at Victoris & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is once again a nominee, his third time on the long list. First time nominee Hari Pulapaka of Cress in Deland is the other local nominee. In all, eight Florida chefs have been named. Click this link to download a PDF of the entire list of James Beard Award nominees .

Regional judges will winnow the long list down to five finalists in each category. The finalists will be announced on March 21st and the winners will be named in a gala ceremony May 9 at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

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India Blue is Closed

Written by Scott Joseph on .

India Blue, the massive restaurant that opened last year on International Drive, has apparently closed. The restaurant was open Monday for Valentine’s Day dinners, but today there is a sign on the door saying that the restaurant is closed for renovations. My sources say that if any renovations are to occur, they most likely will be handled by future owners. A call  to the restaurant Tuesday evening was answered by a recording that said, “We are open at this time but we are assisting another guest.” Extensions for the kitchen and for reservations were also answered by recordings.

My review of India Blue noted a few good things about the food, but mostly found it overpriced and spotty. There was also the annoying practice, common among London Indian restaurants, of charging extra for rice, a commodity that it almost necessary with Indian dishes.

India Blue occupied a huge free-standing building that for many years was Darryl’s, a chain restaurant. For a short time it was Bogard’s, another restaurant that closed rather abruptly.

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Ravenous Pig's James Petrakis Finalist in Food & Wine's Best New Chef Poll

Written by Scott Joseph on .

James Petrakis, co-chef and co-owner, with his wife, Julie, of The Ravenous Pig, is in the running for Food & Wine magazine’s People’s Best New Chef. Petrakis is listed with nine other chefs in the Gulf Coast region. Really? Miami, New Orleans, Birmingham -- Gulf Coast? Whatever.

I could find nothing on the site that stated the criteria for “new” chef. Petrakis has been around for a few years now,James_Petrakis but whatever helps get some attention to the fact that Orlando has some terrific culinary talent is OK by me.

Food & Wine has divvied up the country into 10 regions. Again, I don’t know what the criteria were for selecting the finalists, but in all those 10 regions, F&W managed to find only nine women to put up for votes. In several regions, one entry features two chefs who share cooking duties. Seems to me the magazine could have added another woman to the roster by featuring both Petrakises. To vote for James Petrakis, and to show your support for one of our top chefs, follow this link to Food & Wine’s poll.

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